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PCT Collaborative Search and Examination (CS&E) Pilot Project

Launch of a PCT Collaborative Search and Examination (CS&E) Pilot Project

The PCT Collaborative Search and Examination (CS&E) is a new framework aimed at producing high-quality products in PCT international applications. For each selected PCT application, a main IP Office will collaborate with peer IP Offices to determine its patentability, and finally provide a single international search report to the applicant. On July 1, 2018, the IP5 Offices - EPO, JPO, KIPO, SIPO, and USPTO - launched a pilot project to test this collaborative approach to international searches under the PCT, based on their agreement to start a pilot project in an IP5 Heads Meeting held in June 2016.

The operational phase has ended on June 30, 2020 and the pilot project has entered into an evaluation phase since July 1, 2020.

Operation of PCT CS&E Pilot Project

The main features of this Collaborative Search and Examination (CS&E) pilot project were:

  • an applicant-driven approach: the applications processed during the pilot will be selected by applicants
  • a balanced workload distribution: all collaborating International Authorities will contribute to the establishment of each CS&E work product; each office will process approximately 100 international applications in its role as “main ISA” and approximately 400 international applications in its role as “peer ISA” over two years
  • a common set of quality and operational standards - the same search standards as those for normal international applications and a uniform collaborative search schedule- will be applied by all collaborating International Authorities when processing the PCT applications

PCT CS&E Process (JPO as “main ISA”)

image:PCT CS&E Process (JPO as “main ISA”)

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[Last updated 1 July 2020]

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